Kukla's Korner Hockey
The number of Europeans playing in the National Hockey League (NHL) is on the decline according to a survey released by the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) on Saturday.
There were fewer Europeans than a year ago playing in the just completed NHL regular season but more American-born players, it said.
Canadians continued to dominate rosters, providing more than half the league’s talent.
Europeans accounted for 243 (25.8 percent) of the 941 players appearing in at least one NHL game this season, down from 266 players a year ago.
Q. Max Talbot was able to practice today, can you give us an update on his status, might he play tomorrow, and, if he can, what will you do with the lineup?
COACH THERRIEN: We’ll see tomorrow. He looked pretty good today. We’ll go through the morning skate and make a decision. We’re going to sit down with him and see how he feels. But it’s nice to see him back practicing with the boys.
Q. Can your team execute its system any better than it did in the second and third period last night?
COACH THERRIEN: You know, we didn’t give up a lot of scoring chance against, and a lot of credit to the players. They really buy into it. When we took that two goal lead, we were tough to play against. It’s just something that we try to teach a lot with that young group through the course of the season to be able to get some success in the playoffs.
We played pretty well. For a team that hasn’t played almost for a week, I thought we were sharp in different situations in the game. But I’m expecting the Flyers will be better tomorrow. There are some areas in their game that I’m expecting that we’ll be better too as well.
From Eric Duhatschek at the Globe & Mail,
“The bottom line is, we need to skate and handle the puck more. Our best defence against them is when we have the puck. Last game, we didn’t do enough of that.”
Stars’ coach Dave Tippett hinted there could be line-up changes. Stu Barnes, out since the middle of the last round with concussion-like symptoms, could be closer to playing. Also, the Stars could make a switch on the blue line, and replace Fistric with fellow rookie Matt Niskanen.
Of greater concern to Tippett was the Stars’ work in the face-off circle, where the Red Wings dominated the opener. All teams want to start with the puck, but it’s even more critical against a puck-possession team such as Detroit. Once they have, they rarely give it back.
from Kent Youngblood at Russo’s Rants,
When contacted Friday afternoon, Jacques Lemaire sounded like a happy man. Now we know why: After three days of meetings in Florida between Minnesota Wild coaches and front-office staff, Lemaire decided that he would return for an eighth season, remaining the only coach in franchise history. The decision was announced this morning.
Is there any stopping the Detroit Red Wings?...
After dropping a pair of games to the Nashville Predators in their opening round series, the Wings have reeled off seven consecutive victories in the post-season (outscoring the opposition 32-11 in that span), including a 4-1 domination of the Stars in Game 1 of this best-of-seven series on Thursday.
The Red Wings skated hard, controlled the pace of the game, took advantage when they were on the power play and received solid goaltending from Chris Osgood.
from Red Fisher of the Montreal Gazette,
Let’s cut the Stars some slack here. We’re talking about a team that defeated the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks in the first round and beat San Jose, a team favoured by many to win it all this season, in the conference semifinals.
The Stars were a tired team in their opener against the Red Wings. Fewer than five minutes into the game, they were short two skaters when Brian Rafalski opened the scoring. Johan Franzen’s 12th goal of the playoffs also was on the power play. So was Tomas Holmstrom’s goal early in the second, a goal that should not have been allowed because he clearly interfered with Turco after establishing squatter’s rights in the crease.
There was nothing complicated or mysterious about the Red Wings taking a 3-0 lead before this game was 27 minutes old: tired teams take penalties.
More importantly, it’s not as if anyone expected a Red Wings team with the NHL’s best regular-season record to roll over for the visiting Stars.
from Mike Sielski of phillyBurbs,
Maybe this is unfair to Biron, the man most responsible for the Flyers reaching this point. There isn’t a goaltender in the NHL who would be expected to stop Malkin on a 3-on-2, or on a shorthanded breakaway. Malkin’s winning and insurance goals fall on Biron’s teammates more than they fall on him. Nevertheless, it’s still the truth: Biron has to be sensational for the Flyers to beat a team with as much talent as the Penguins. He has to make the same saves that he made against the Capitals and the Canadiens. Then he has to make some more.
At a minimum, he can’t do what he did with just less than six minutes left in the first period. He can’t transform an innocent Pittsburgh dump-in into an easy goal for Crosby, can’t afford to be so cavalier at such a crucial moment
from Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer,
They have now lost Game 1 of each of their three playoff series. In the first two rounds, they came back and won Game 2, then went on to take the series.
This Game 1 was different, though. The Penguins are simply better than the Washington Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens. Evgeni Malkin is the best player the Flyers have faced, delivering where Alex Ovechkin and Alex Kovalev simply did not. Marc-Andre Fleury is the best goaltender the Flyers have faced. For the first time in these playoffs, Biron was not the better netminder.
That doesn’t mean the Flyers can’t compete with the Penguins. They can. It just means they have to play near-perfect hockey to have a chance, and that is not something they’ve shown an aptitude for doing. They were able to blow two-goal leads against the Caps and the Habs and still win. Those days are gone.
from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
Every night Gary Roberts watches, and every night he finds something else to be amazed by.
It isn’t just that Evgeni Malkin scores goals. It’s how he scores. And when he scores. And just about everything else in between.
“He is taking it to a whole new level,” the veteran Roberts said. “Both goals tonight came late in shifts. By then, most of us are dead tired. He’s on the ice a minute, a minute and a half into his shift and he finds the strength. I don’t think he’s human like the rest of us.
“And then he makes these plays ... I’ve never seen anything like him before.”
You have to love the ‘shorty’ by Malkin last night= Watch below…
from David Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
When the NHL playoffs started, the Pittsburgh Penguins liked to tell people they could play any way their opponents wanted.
Then they proceeded to back it up. The first round didn’t count, since the Ottawa Senators lay down and died for them, but the New York Rangers found out the Penguins could win in a shootout or a checking game.
But coming into the Eastern Conference final, there was one game the Penguins had not played: a physical, hard-hitting battle along the boards and in front of the net. The Philadelphia Flyers, even if missing top defenceman Kimmo Timonen, brought one of those games last night.
Guess what? The Penguins beat them at that, too.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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